ISLAMABAD: Half a dozen prosecution witnesses on Friday testified before an accountability court and produced corroborative documents in the Rs831.7 million reference against defunct finance minister Ishaq Dar.

Testifying before the court, Deputy Director of the Lahore Development Authority (LDA) Mirza Faizur Rehman produced the record of Mr Dar’s property in Gulberg which, according to him, the defunct minister had purchased from film star of yesteryear Deeba.

Deputy Director of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Saeed Ahmed Khan produced details of the asset declaration of Mr Dar that he used to submit to the commission every year.

Excise and Taxation Officer (ETO) of Lahore Mohammad Naeem produced details of the vehicle owned by the defunct minister, while banking analyst Zafar Iqbal Mufti submitted to the court a report titled “Bank Credit Inflows Report” highlighting details of the accounts and private companies belonging to Mr Dar and his spouse, Tabassum Ishaq.

Three NAB officials among five other witnesses summoned by accountability court

Witness Qaboos Aziz, former director of the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra), testified that he had provided documents related to the Dar family tree and his daughter, Siddiqua Ali Rana, to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) after which his service was terminated last year. Also in his petition before the Islamabad High Court, Mr Aziz had stated that he had been victimised for providing the documents to NAB. However, he had told the IHC that a dispute between the Nadra chairman and the deputy chairman had cost him his job.

Prosecution witness Ishtiaq Ahmed Khan of Inland Revenue also recorded his testimony. Besides, he told the accountability judge that he would produce some additional record before the court regarding the assets of the defunct minister.

At the request of NAB’s special prosecutor Imran Shafiq, who produced the witnesses before the court, Judge Mohammad Bashir of the accountability court summoned five more prosecution witnesses, including Inamul Haq of Al Falah Cooperative Society, District Officer for Industries Azhar Amin and three NAB officials to record their statements on Jan 29.

With the testimony of the six witnesses, the accountability court has so far recorded statements of 19 out of 28 prosecution witnesses, while it would record testimony of five other witnesses when it will resume the proceedings on Monday, lending strength to the impression that the trial will be completed within the next few days.

In its July 28, 2017 verdict, the Supreme Court had directed NAB to file four references — three against Nawaz Sharif and members of his family and one against Mr Dar — in the accountability court, with a directive to the accountability judge to complete the trial within six months. The apex court has also appointed Justice Ijazul Ahsan as supervisory judge to monitor the trial proceedings.

Published in Dawn, January 27th, 2018

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